The Canadian Upstream Oil and Gas Industry has a history of problems with wildlife-vehicle collisions. Animal strikes rank as one of the top safety issues plaguing this industry due to both the frequency and severity of these collisions. Recent indicators suggest that these accidents are only likely to increase in the future. A decreasing number of hunters and increasing habitat encroachment are two of the primary factors that are expected to contribute to this trend.
In the fall of 2002, Veridian responded to the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) Request for Technology (RFT) H&S-2001-01, “Infrared Driving Safety Technology” announcement. In our response we identified a list of potential technology approaches which had the potential to prevent and mitigate collisions between PTAC vehicles and animals. After several discussions with PTAC representatives, a methodology was developed to determine, design, and test the best overall technology available for a night-driving safety system. This methodology was laid out in three tasks. Task 1 was focused on identifying and understanding the true needs of the drivers of the PTAC vehicle fleet. In this task, Veridian proposed to conduct on-site surveys and interviews with PTAC drivers. This would give Veridian familiarity with the vehicles they drive and the environment in which they operate. Based on that information, Veridian proposed to evaluate and rank order appropriate technologies and systems that demonstrate potential for providing a solution to this safety need. From this effort, an optimal system will be recommended for an operational demonstration phase. This demonstration phase would be Task 2. This follow-on task would have Veridian assemble and install two systems on selected PTAC vehicles at a designated site selected by PTAC. These systems would then be used by the drivers of those two vehicles for a one month demonstration to assess how well these systems meet the needs of the drivers. The next follow-on task would be Task 3. In this task Veridian proposed to incorporate “lessons learned” from the demonstration evaluation in Task 2 into the prototype night safety driving system. Ten of these systems would then be installed on ten PTAC vehicles for a six month operational field evaluation of their performance. This report contains Veridian’s findings, conclusions and recommendations from Task 1.